This spaghetti casserole recipe may be low on glamor, but rates high on ease of preparation and kid appeal. If you have a day that you know you won't have time to make dinner, you can spend 15 minutes the night before to assemble this dish. It can be refrigerated until you are ready to bake and serve. The ingredients for this dish are also easy to keep on hand for a quick and easy dinner. If you want to jazz it up you can add cooked ground sirloin, cooked Italian sausage and/or veggies such as spinach.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes. Baking Time: 35 minutes
16 ounces spaghetti noodles
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup milk
1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook spaghetti according to the package directions. Meanwhile, place the cream cheese in a medium sized glass or microwave safe mixing bowl. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from the oven, stir and return to the microwave for another 10-15 seconds or until very soft and easy to stir. Add the milk and Parmesan cheese to the cream cheese and stir well. Set aside until the noodles are cooked.
Drain the spaghetti noodles. Rinse and dry the pot if necessary and return to the burner. Place the softened cream cheese mixture into the pot you cooked the spaghetti in and heat on low, stirring constantly, until well mixed and easy to stir(probably less than 1 minute). Remove from heat and add the cooked spaghetti noodles to the cream cheese mixture. Stir well to mix. Transfer the cream cheese and noodle mixture to a 9”x13”x2” baking pan (I use a glass pan) and spread noodles out evenly. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the noodles (don’t stir!). Sprinkle first the oregano, then the mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Cover with foil.
The casserole can be baked immediately at 350°F for 30 minutes with the foil on and an additional 5 minutes with the foil off. Or, you can refrigerate and bake the casserole later. A refrigerated casserole can be baked covered at 350°F for 45 minutes and an additional 5 minutes with the foil off. The casserole can be served easier if you let it stand for about 5 minutes. Cut into 2-3” squares and serve.
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